One of the pivotal moments in Thursday’s press conference introducing Marc Trestman as Chicago Bears head coach came when the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs asked the very direct question – “Is Jay Cutler a franchise quarterback?” Trestman’s reaction stopped short of calling Jay a franchise quarterback. Well short:
“Jay Cutler is a guy who loves football. He’s a guy who’s willing to learn. He wants to do everything he can to help this franchise and please our amazing fans,” Trestman said. “That’s where we’re going to start. We’re going to go to work one day at a time in proactive terms with a sense of urgency to get him where we want him to be and where he wants to be.”
Alrighty then. I wonder how JC took that one? When asked about it after the presser, Bears GM Phil Emery noted that Trestman wants Jay to earn that distinction from him. That’s cool with me. Challenge the grumpy QB.
If it wasn’t clear to Jay before yesterday’s presser, it should be crystal clear now – it’s put up or shut up time. The Bears have gone all-in on Cutler, hiring a coach known to get the most out of quarterbacks under his tutelage. Cutler is in a contract year and hopes to get paid like a franchise QB. Trestman was brought in to make sure the Bears make the right decision on that front. If Cutler’s numbers don’t dramatically improve, he could have a new address in 2014. The Bears could also choose to apply the old Franchise Tag to Cutler to buy another year to evaluate the investment.
Trestman will break Cutler down and build him back up, like buying an old junker car and restoring it into a classic. Asked about working with Cutler, Trestman beamed, “I can’t wait to get my hands on him.” Neither can we coach, neither can we.
Trestman called the relationship between the quarterback and his coach “the most important marriage in all of sports.” What do you think? Can Trestman mold Cutler into a franchise QB or is this marriage destined for divorce?